By Kabir Singh, Grade 5
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that causes the immune system to malfunction. It can also progress to a serious disease, AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), which is often fatal. What is important to know, is that HIV cannot be transmitted through the skin or via contact and once someone is infected they can never cure their disease, only manage it.
Sadly, the victims of this virus have been stigmatized globally in places like their workplaces for decades. A study conducted in November 2021 by the ILO (International Labour Organization) and Gallup (a data analytics company) indicates that many patients of HIV face discrimination around the world. The views of working and interacting with HIV-positive people varied. In our country, 80% of our population believes it’s unsafe to work with HIV-positive people. On the other hand, in Southern Africa, 90% of their people believe working with HIV-positive people is safe.
Chidi King, the ILO chief said “It’s shocking, 40 years into the HIV epidemic, myths and misconceptions are still so widespread. A lack of basic facts about how HIV is transmitted is fuelling stigma and discrimination.”
Labeling victims of a disease as wrongfully dangerous makes them feel unsafe and disturbed. But we can be part of the change, let us solve this problem, one mindset at a time.